Madurai

With limited capacity, Madurai sends 800 COVID-19 samples to Chennai, Coimbatore daily

People at a counter at Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai. The hospital has the capacity to test about 2,200 COVID-19 samples daily. Photograph used for representational purposes only

People at a counter at Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai. The hospital has the capacity to test about 2,200 COVID-19 samples daily. Photograph used for representational purposes only   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

As Madurai ramps up COVID-19 testing, the district administration has been sending over 800 samples collected from the district to Chennai and Coimbatore, to bridge the capacity gap.

District Collector T. G. Vinay said that Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) has the capacity to test 2,200 samples per day currently. Since June 8, the district administration has been averaging 3,000 tests per day.

“Considering that we have significantly increased the tests in the last few days, we have reached out to districts where labs have the ability to undertake our testing too, so that there is no backlog each day. Apart from Chennai and Coimbatore, we are also likely to send samples to Tirunelveli as testing continues to rise. The samples are being taken securely by road, and it takes eight hours to get the results,” he said.

Until the first week of June, the district was only taking half the number of samples it currently takes. District Monitoring Officer B. Chandra Mohan, while interacting with mediapersons on June 2, said that they were collecting 1,500 samples per day.

As cases increased, the Collector said that they have been intensifying testing and implementing the fever clinic model, where those with symptoms of COVID-19 can get their tests done at government-run fever clinics or at private labs.

“All the results are uploaded online. We also immediately communicate to those who have tested positive so that we can discuss the severity and treatment options for them,” he said.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 8:48:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/with-limited-capacity-madurai-sends-800-covid-19-samples-to-chennai-coimbatore-daily/article32051159.ece

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